Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Dining Review: Epcot

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Akershus Sign at entrance

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a character dining location found at Epcot in the World Showcase.  The highlight of this venue is getting to meet all of your favorite princesses without standing in long lines. Princesses include Belle, Snow White, and Ariel.  Princesses may change based on who doesn’t have any previous royal duties to attend too. This is a great place to get breakfast EARLY and then head on over to Frozen as they are both found in the Norway Pavillion.Akershus Entrance

Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is an all you care to enjoy family style meal with a smorgasbord. At the smorgasbord you have offerings of fresh fruit, bagels, lox, and pastries. Eggs, potato casserole, bacon and sausage will also come to the table family style.

Dinner is a completely different experience, while you still have the smorgasbord, you will pick an entrée, and have a desert trio.  Items such as Norwegian Meatballs or Salmon are available. The smorgasbord has cheeses, cured meats and many salad and fruit options.

Reasons to Eat At Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

There are really only two reasons to choose Akershus. Princess centric meals are few and far between. There are only two other locations at Walt Disney World to have a character meal featuring the princesses. This includes Cinderella’s Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom and Trattoria Al Forno at the Boardwalk.  Trattoria al Forno has it’s limits as you are only meeting Ariel and Rapunzel but allows to have the unique opportunity to meet Flynn and Prince Eric.

The other reason to eat at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is so you can get into the park early. We recommend getting a reservation here as early in the morning as possible. Make sure to finish your meal before the park opens and wait to get on Frozen Ever After at rope drop. This way you can do Frozen, sans line, and then make you way over to Soarin’ at a brisk pace and accomplish both early in the morning. All without the use of a fastpass!! Following this method you should be able to knock out all of the E ticket rides first thing in the morning.

Our Experience

When dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall we opted to go for breakfast. Kaitlyn is typically in the best mood in the morning.  We wanted her to enjoy meeting the Princesses so we opted for an 8 am reservation. We were in line for approximately 20 minutes waiting to be seated.

This is an odd experience compared to other dining locations. There is no seating available and you are standing in line outside with little shade. During spring this doesn’t pose any problems but I can’t help but to wonder what we would have thought of the experience in August.

The cast member that checked us in was lovely and spent a lot of time playing with Kaitlyn. I really love when cast members like children because it makes the wait seem a lot shorter and helps keep your child entertained.

When your party is called you will proceed to another line to meet your first Princess. This goes by very quickly as there are three families in front of you at the most. The waiting area can become congested because the restrooms, entrance and meet and great are all in that space.

After meeting Belle we were taken to our table and our drink orders were taken. Our server was super nice and she checked on us many times during the meal to make sure that everything was going smoothly. We were near the smorgasbord and our food was brought to us before we had a chance to go check it out. Elyse was super confused by the fact that there were no plates at the table. She soon realized that its because you are supposed to grab your own at the smorgasbord. We both felt that this was a little silly. Let’s be honest here, when you have young children only one adult is going to go up to the buffet.  Typically, in an environment such as this you are only going to fill one plate and bring it back to the table for everyone to share.

Meeting the Princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet HallBell at Akershus

The first princess you are going to meet is Belle.  She was wonderful and was a joy to meet. She really took her time talking to Kaitlyn. Though Kaitlyn is usually a big ball of energy when she meets the characters she’s a little more subdued when she meets the Princesses. We really appreciated that Belle was willing to take the time to draw her out a little.

Unfortunately, our table was in a horrible location. We were quite literally the last table to see the princesses before they returned to their individual kingdoms. We’ve come to the conclusion that this really played a part in the interaction we had with them.

While we were getting settled into our seats Aurora came over to say hello to Kaitlyn. This was the worst interaction we had by far.  She came over, took a picture and left. The whole interaction lasted maybe ten seconds.Snow White at Akershus

Princess interactions were rushed. There were a few exceptions with Snow White and Ariel but that’s about it. We understand that the Princesses are on a time crunch, and they have other kingdoms to attend too.  When children are super excited to see them I wish that they could take the time to give that extra hug or actually talk to the children. This was very much one of those situations where they want to take a picture and leave.

The FoodAkershus Food

The items at the smorgasbord were pretty good. They had a good blueberry pound cake, some cold cuts with assorted cheeses. Along with bagels, cream cheese, and lox. Fresh fruit was also available.

There were mixed reviews on the meal.  The eggs were good and there was lot of sausage and bacon. The potato casserole fell flat. It’s comprised of shredded potatos, heavy cream and cheese. Adolfo and I didn’t care for it but Kaitlyn happily munched on it and the eggs.

Would we eat  at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall again?Akershus Receipt

Probably not. We didn’t think the food was good for the price. The princess interaction was as expected, it wasn’t all that great.  In fact, this was much better than the experience we had at Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure.

For character dining we highly recommend Garden Grill. While it doesnt have princesses you do get to meet some great characters. Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale will keep you plenty of company while you eat.  The food there is very good and the character interaction is AMAZING!!!

Have you had a different experience at Akershus Banquet Hall? Let us know in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.

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